ICEL moving the copyright goal posts?

Well it does to the people who post here... dispassionate and reasoned debate, with a good deal of humour thrown in for good measure.

Moderators: Dom Perignon, Casimir

Southern Comfort
Posts: 1792
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:31 pm

ICEL moving the copyright goal posts?

Post by Southern Comfort » Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:03 pm

I distinctly remember reading that ICEL had informed one of our number that they did not intend to claim copyright in the text of the Sanctus, given that it is only one word different ("hosts") from the existing ICET text that we currently use, which is © 1970 ICET (now ELLC). ICEL adopted the ICET text for use in the 1973 Missal but obviously did not copyright it because they could not.

That did not stop them from (illegally) charging publishers to use that ICET text (and the ICET Gloria, Nicene Creed and Preface Dialogue too, not to mention "Christ has died", which is in the public domain despite ICEL's past protestations to the contrary). To hear that they would not be doing that with the revised text of the Sanctus was rather refreshing, and brought joy to the heart of several publishers who have proceeded accordingly.

Now it would appear that ICEL have changed their tune. They are trying to force at least one American publisher to provide the slightly adapted ICET text with an ICEL copyright line.

I wonder if the person who first posted the news here about ICEL's stance regarding the Sanctus would care to give chapter and verse once again? A search of the forum has not yet uncovered the post.

JW
Posts: 794
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:46 am
Location: Kent

Re: ICEL moving the copyright goal posts?

Post by JW » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:42 pm

I'm no lawyer but I really don't think any British court would find in favour of ICEL if they brought anyone to court. The Sanctus we are now using is simply the Sanctus found in the 1549 Book of Common Prayer and in modern spelling and with 'thy' updated to 'your'. The final sentence in the Benedictus is different, but the final sentence of the Sanctus section in the BCP is "Hosanna in the Highest". See this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctus

I find it very hard to comment further without being uncharitable. Incidentally the 'Guide for Composers' Appendix 3 states that the 'Holy, holy' is considered to be in the public domain. Frankly, if I were a bolshy publisher with some spare cash, I would probably get legal advice and then take ICEL on. However, I guess its cheaper to pay the copyright fee...
JW

quaeritor
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: oxfordshire

Re: ICEL moving the copyright goal posts?

Post by quaeritor » Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:31 pm

You may perhaps recall my jaundiced view of the whole copyright mess-up from another topic many moons ago. At that time I was revving up to condemn "ICEL" for hoodwinking our poor simple Bishops. I was particularly cross because as a designer of computer software I had originated a successful package which made a number of people a lot of money, but I had no intellectual property rights because they belonged to the organisation that had paid me to do the work. I was about to go off on a tirade against "the Bishops" for not spotting this, and "ICEL" for "shamelessly" taking advantage of them when I looked into who "ICEL" actually are, and apparently the memebrs of ICEL are actually "the Bishops" themselves. Which brings me back even more crossly to the question I was working up to then - When "ICEL" successfully prosecute some filthy-rich publishing pirates for ripping off "their" rights who gets the money? - or if indeed royalties are paid without an unseemly contest where does the money go?

Simony again?

(Off for a cold shower now.)

Q

User avatar
presbyter
Posts: 1651
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 8:21 pm
Parish / Diocese: youknowalready
Location: elsewhere

Re: ICEL moving the copyright goal posts?

Post by presbyter » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:22 pm

quaeritor wrote: I was particularly cross because as a designer of computer software I had originated a successful package which made a number of people a lot of money, but I had no intellectual property rights because they belonged to the organisation that had paid me to do the work.


The moral of this tale is that everyone should read the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/contents

For example: the arranger of For all the Saints/ Sine Nomine for the Papal Mass at Cofton Park was made to swear (metaphorically) on his grandmother's Grave and all that is holy - that he did not hold the copyright of his arrangement; that the copyright was held by the Trustees of the estate of RVW; that he would never be entitled to an ounce of royalties on the arrangement, even though OUP would be entitled to hold the arrangement in their library and be able to offer it on hire. (Not sure if this would also include entitlement to PRS payment if broadcast - but probably not).

I understand that the same person once arranged a piece for orchestra for a well-known international soloist and that the result is available on a commercial CD. The arranger was paid a flat fee and has no entitlement to royalties on the sale of the CD whatsoever.

Read the Act before you sign any contracts - look at a summary and guidelines here: http://www.abcm.org.uk/publications/publications/cg.html

As for ICEl - hmmmm. The new text is not that far off from the 1966 text, without the archaic second person. The ICEL claim could be worth a challenge in court, if anyone could pay the lawyers' fees.

User avatar
Nick Baty
Posts: 2067
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:27 am
Parish / Diocese: Everton, Liverpool
Contact:

Re: ICEL moving the copyright goal posts?

Post by Nick Baty » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:32 pm

Same is true of the composer of the theme of Delia Smith's last-but-one TV series – flat fee, even though it's a tune many of us sing on a Sunday morning! Still, he was at least listed on the credits!

quaeritor
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: oxfordshire

Re: ICEL moving the copyright goal posts?

Post by quaeritor » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:00 pm

presbyter wrote:
quaeritor wrote: I was particularly cross because as a designer of computer software I had originated a successful package which made a number of people a lot of money, but I had no intellectual property rights because they belonged to the organisation that had paid me to do the work.


The moral of this tale is that everyone should read the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/contents

I think you misunderstand, Presbyter (perhaps on purpose? :wink: ) - I wasn't "cross" because I thought that I had in some way been badly done by (although that's how it reads in the isolated paragraph you quote) - I was "cross" because the Bishops in commissioning a translation or as in the case of the psalms in adopting one had not the nous to secure the intellectual property rights which would have meant that they could have made the texts freely available to all who wished to set them - - or would they?

Q

Alan
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:52 pm
Parish / Diocese: Holy Redeemer Pershore [Birmingham Archdiocese]
Location: Malvern, UK
Contact:

Re: ICEL moving the copyright goal posts?

Post by Alan » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:09 pm

presbyter wrote:... For example: the arranger of For all the Saints/ Sine Nomine for the Papal Mass at Cofton Park was made to swear (metaphorically) on his grandmother's Grave and all that is holy - that he did not hold the copyright of his arrangement; that the copyright was held by the Trustees of the estate of RVW; that he would never be entitled to an ounce of royalties on the arrangement, even though OUP would be entitled to hold the arrangement in their library and be able to offer it on hire. (Not sure if this would also include entitlement to PRS payment if broadcast - but probably not).

I cannot tell a lie: it was I. But I did know what I getting into, so no complaint there. However, I have never fully understood the thinking behind this; surely in an approved arrangement the arranger should be entitled to some credit.

presbyter also wrote:I understand that the same person once arranged a piece for orchestra for a well-known international soloist and that the result is available on a commercial CD. The arranger was paid a flat fee and has no entitlement to royalties on the sale of the CD whatsoever..

Again, no complaint here. This is what our American friends call 'work for hire'. I was paid a very fair fee and the work does not belong to me. In the case of the RVW there was no fee, and that is the difference.

However, as others have pointed out, it does pay to know what the law says. Sometimes it is rather asinine.

User avatar
Nick Baty
Posts: 2067
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:27 am
Parish / Diocese: Everton, Liverpool
Contact:

Re: ICEL moving the copyright goal posts?

Post by Nick Baty » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:18 pm

quaeritor wrote:I was "cross" because the Bishops in commissioning a translation...had not the nous to secure the intellectual property rights which would have meant that they could have made the texts freely available to all who wished to set them

But they are freely available to all who wish to set them. The only people likely to incur a fee are publishers.

NorthernTenor
Posts: 794
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 7:26 pm
Parish / Diocese: Southwark

Re: ICEL moving the copyright goal posts?

Post by NorthernTenor » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:48 am

Nick Baty wrote:
quaeritor wrote:I was "cross" because the Bishops in commissioning a translation...had not the nous to secure the intellectual property rights which would have meant that they could have made the texts freely available to all who wished to set them

But they are freely available to all who wish to set them. The only people likely to incur a fee are publishers.


Up to a point, Nick. The fee will be passed on to the parishes and laity who buy the music. The element of the product price that factors in the copyright fee on liturgical material is something that makes many of us uncomfortable. Nor is the problem just that someone is putting a price on our loyalty to the text of the liturgy; it's also that an extra or para-ecclesiastical organisation has control over the rights to our patrimony. The exercise of that control may be more or less benign, but control it is, and the publisher's interests (or those of its copyright farmer) do not necessarily coincide with those of the Church in every respect. These problems can be overcome by publishing the texts to the Commons, under a form of copyright that protects textual integrity but is otherwise relaxed about onward publication (an increasing amount of liturgical music is made available under some kind of permissive licence). If the circumstances require financial support or reward for those who make the translations, there are other means of providing this.
Ian Williams
Alium Music

User avatar
presbyter
Posts: 1651
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 8:21 pm
Parish / Diocese: youknowalready
Location: elsewhere

Re: ICEL moving the copyright goal posts?

Post by presbyter » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:30 am

NorthernTenor wrote: If the circumstances require financial support or reward for those who make the translations, there are other means of providing this.


How would you fund ICEL NT?

(Parish priest here who would dread yet another compulsory second collection or diocesan levy)

NorthernTenor
Posts: 794
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 7:26 pm
Parish / Diocese: Southwark

Re: ICEL moving the copyright goal posts?

Post by NorthernTenor » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:38 pm

presbyter wrote:
NorthernTenor wrote: If the circumstances require financial support or reward for those who make the translations, there are other means of providing this.


How would you fund ICEL NT?

(Parish priest here who would dread yet another compulsory second collection or diocesan levy)


Speaking as a layman who wonders at the financial black hole that characterises your typical ecclesiastical bureaucracy, I sympathise, Presbyter. However, if the Conferences are to spend any of our contributions, I would suggest the funding of liturgical translations in a manner that is free from ongoing commercial and extra-ecclesiastical constraint, and which encourages musical settings, is a priority. Options include one-off purchase of rights, payment for hire of translators and subsidy of the work of academics and religious. In thinking about this we should remember that copyright is a relatively recent legal development, and that the Church and other ecclesial groups managed quite well before it.

BTW - we're not only talking about ICEL's rights, here, but also those of the various copyright holders of scriptural translations. At least ICEL is under some kind of ecclesiastical control, though its rather ham-fisted attempts to copyright texts that are already in the the public domain illustrate the extent to which it has imbibed the culture of the publishing industry with which it rubs shoulders.
Ian Williams
Alium Music

JW
Posts: 794
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:46 am
Location: Kent

Re: ICEL moving the copyright goal posts?

Post by JW » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:47 pm

presbyter wrote:How would you fund ICEL NT?

(Parish priest here who would dread yet another compulsory second collection or diocesan levy)


I think part of the issue may be to do with transparency of both ICEL and diocesan accounts, the attitude seems to be it's nothing to do with those who contribute but this attitude is Victorian. Our parish's (Southwark) diocesan levy last year seems to have been about 1/3rd of the total collection plus Gift Aid. I'm amazed at how little money the parish has to maintain 5 buildings and a priest but I'm absolutely gobsmacked at how much the diocese is taking and I have never seen their accounts. A Google search will give me CAFOD's annual report and accounts. Anyone know where diocesan accounts are available to us poor parishoners and if they're not available why not, as I'd like to know what's happened to a third of my collection contributions?

The same applies to ICEL. If they were to publish accounts so that we could see where the money is going, how much the cost of translators is, and how many translators they use, then I'm sure I would be more relaxed about contributing to their finance. However, if that translation plagarises the Book of Common Prayer, ICET, or previous translations of the Roman Missal, I wonder if we're getting value for money, especially when Rome seems to vet and change their work. I'm not keen, either, to contribute to airmiles so that ICEL can have their regular meetings and associated accomodation costs (if they're using similar accomodation to that used by the Pope's entourage on his visit). My gut feeling is that certain cardinals and bishops seem to fly about irrespective of the cost because the church is paying and there doesn't seem to be much accountability. At the last major corporation I worked for, each overseas trip had to be individually authorised with cost (Budget airline travel expected for Europe!).

Whatever happened to 'Live Simply'? Please tell me I'm wrong.
JW

User avatar
Nick Baty
Posts: 2067
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:27 am
Parish / Diocese: Everton, Liverpool
Contact:

Re: ICEL moving the copyright goal posts?

Post by Nick Baty » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:25 pm

I'm not sure ICEL is quite the bogeyman some would have us believe.
1) The texts are freely available to anyone who wishes to set them – no cost.
2) Those who would like to share them with other must have them vetted by the Permission to Publish Panel – again, no cost.
3) Those who seek to publish commercially will have to pay a proportion of the cover price. But, on the first 25,000 copies sold, a publisher is paying just 10% – that's if the publication is 100% ICEl material. If it's a musical setting, the ICEL material is no more than 20% (arguably less) so the royalty due is nearer to 1.5% – ie. 3p to 5p for a set of acclamations selling at £2-£3.

Yes, there are issues about texts deemed to be in the public domain. But, surely, that is one for publishers to battle out with ICEL when agreeing to their contracts. It certainly doesn't affect those who wish to set the texts in the slightest.

Southern Comfort
Posts: 1792
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:31 pm

Re: ICEL moving the copyright goal posts?

Post by Southern Comfort » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:47 pm

Nick Baty wrote:1) The texts are freely available to anyone who wishes to set them – no cost.


Actually, this is a rather simplistic way of looking at things.

Nick Baty wrote:2) Those who would like to share them with other must have them vetted by the Permission to Publish Panel – again, no cost.


Not so. The Panel is concerned with publishers, not with people sharing with each other behind the scenes.

Nick Baty wrote:3) Those who seek to publish commercially will have to pay a proportion of the cover price. But, on the first 25,000 copies sold, a publisher is paying just 10% – that's if the publication is 100% ICEl material. If it's a musical setting, the ICEL material is no more than 20% (arguably less) so the royalty due is nearer to 1.5% – ie. 3p to 5p for a set of acclamations selling at £2-£3.


Correctamundo, but think of the expense of jumping through all the hoops even to get to this stage.....

Nick Baty wrote:Yes, there are issues about texts deemed to be in the public domain. But, surely, that is one for publishers to battle out with ICEL when agreeing to their contracts. It certainly doesn't affect those who wish to set the texts in the slightest.


No, this is very definitlely not something to leave the publishers to sort out, 'cos they'll keel over and do whatever ICEL tells them. It's up to US to make the running in this area. ICEL appear to be acting both illegally and immorally regarding texts which are not their copyright. They simply can't stand the fact that, once again, they can't charge people for everything! But they're trying, nevertheless.

User avatar
Nick Baty
Posts: 2067
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:27 am
Parish / Diocese: Everton, Liverpool
Contact:

Re: ICEL moving the copyright goal posts?

Post by Nick Baty » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:10 pm

Southern Comfort wrote:Actually, this is a rather simplistic way of looking at things.

You may well be correct. I do have a legalistic way of looking at things. I base the above on the Guide for Composers 7.A.39: "However the Concordat is not necessary to set the liturgical texts and it is recognised that musical settings invariably have to be tried in a local setting before they are published."

Southern Comfort wrote:Not so. The Panel is concerned with publishers, not with people sharing with each other behind the scenes.

There's a difference between "sharing behind the scenes" and offering to neighbouring parishes to use. Isn't the latter publishing even though no money may change hands?

Southern Comfort wrote:Correctamundo, but think of the expense of jumping through all the hoops even to get to this stage.....

One email to the Liturgy Office, await their reply, then email to ICEL in Washington. Within a couple of weeks a contract is offered and one either accepts or not. Important to note that ICEL bases contracts on copies sold, not copies printed.

Southern Comfort wrote:No, this is very definitely not something to leave the publishers to sort out, 'cos they'll keel over and do whatever ICEL tells them. It's up to US to make the running in this area. ICEL appear to be acting both illegally and immorally regarding texts which are not their copyright. They simply can't stand the fact that, once again, they can't charge people for everything! But they're trying, nevertheless.

So that remains an issue for the publisher rather than the composer. It is the publisher who must pay a percentage of the cover price, not the composer. One might, of course, argue that the amount paid to the composer is affected by the amount paid by the publisher in royalties.

Composers remain free to set whichever texts they choose to set and to use them in their communities.

Are there any publishers around (who have been through the process with the Panel and with ICEL) who can share their experiences?

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests